PublisherHealth Enhancement Research Organization
Peer ReviewedSelection committee of HERO
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AbstractGeneral Theme of Conference: Psychological Safety at Work: What Happens When More Voices Are Heard? The presentation reviews empirical studies to answer the following six questions of interest to employers: Q1 = How many employers have EAPs? Q2 = Why are EAPs needed? Q3 = Why do employers buy EAP? Q4 = Who buys EAP? Q5 = Where is the evidence on EAP Effectiveness? Q6 = How do companies get their EAP to be more effective?
DescriptionGeneral Theme of Conference: Psychological Safety at Work: What Happens When More Voices Are Heard? Q1 - How many employers have EAPs? Many surveys show that 90% of medium and large employers in the US have EAPs. Even 75% of small employers in the US now have EAP. These rates are similarly high for EAP market in Canada. But EAP is less mature as product overseas, with 20% - 30% of companies in Europe having EAPs. Q2 - Why are EAPs needed? Epidemiological studies find that 1 in 5 working adults have some type of mental health issue that EAP can address. Thus, there us high prevalence of EAP-relevant conditions among working populations. Q3 - Why do employers buy EAP? EAPs are designed to help manage organizational risk, help with employee work performance and behavioral health issues, support marriage and family life for employees, and support the work organization (i.e., organizational effectiveness goals). 2018 survey findings are discussed. Q4 - Who buys EAP? There are basically two kinds of EAPs being purchased today in US. Type 1 is the “Free EAP” which has led to price stagnation, less clinical follow up included, and just a cheap commodity model for EAP. In contrast, the second kind is the Full Service EAP. This is defined by the EAP being treated by the purchaser as an integrated partner in the workplace with a more preventive role for behavioral health risks and disorders. Q5 - Where is the evidence on EAP Effectiveness? In 2011, Attridge wrote a EAP Business Case Bibliography white paper that listed the top 100 review papers on EAP outcomes. A 2016 meta-analysis of EAP workplace outcomes by Attridge was done representing more than 200,000 cases globally (http://hdl.handle.net/10713/7203). Industry-wide results in EAP Workplace Outcomes Suite (WOS) Study. Another major study of EAP counseling outcomes across the industry was published in 2018 (http://www.ihpm.org/pdf/IJHP_V10N2_2018.pdf). Q6 - How do companies get their EAP to be more effective? Get more integrated with other parts of the organizations. See conceptual model by Attridge (2016) of the many parts of organization that can interaction with the EAP to increase awareness of mental health issues, to share brief risk screening tools, to collaborate on trainings, and to provide cross-referrals to many different employee benefit services. If you buy a cheap EAP and treat it like a benefit, EAP is in a silo and its hidden. Fully integrated EAP is more visible and used. Also, the use of multiple modalities and digital access tools can increase EAP utilization and encourage integration. Advice for employers from EAPs is for managers need training on their role in identifying and supporting employees with behavioral health issues. See resources with this submission for a HERO proceedings brief summary and HERO BLOG of 3 page list of research reference downloads and other online resources for workplace mental health
CitationAttridge, M. (2019). Do EAPs Work? Presented at Spring Think Tank meeting of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), San Antonio, TX.
SponsorsHealth Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). Morneau Shepell.
Rights/TermsCopyright to Mark Attridge
Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS)
Psychological Safety at Work
Employee assistance programs